It has been 10 years since the ISG produced the first edition of the Gem Shopping at Bagram AB video, and published/shipped the DVD version free to any requested APO and FPO address in the Afghanistan operation region. Since that time we shipped thousands of these DVDs, along with a jewelers loupe and Selvyt cloth, to soldiers in every Forward Operating Base in the region. Through our free gem identification service for all deployed US Military and DOD personnel, we were credited with saving soldiers hundreds of thousands of dollars in bogus gemstone purchases from dealers in the bazaars around the bases. The United States Marine Corps flew Old Glory over Bagram AB and sent it with a Certificate of Appreciation for our efforts, as did the soldiers of Forward Operating Base Findley Shields (seen below).
I tell this because it is time to produce the 2020 edition of Gem Shopping at Bagram AB. Since DVDs are becoming like dinosaurs, we are this time shipping the gem shopping video on USB flash drives. The video is based on the actual case history of our work with soldiers and their purchases, and clearly explains what to look for, what to look out for, and how to get help from the ISG if required. This is all free to all US Military and DOD personnel deployed in the Afghanistan region.
If anyone has any information or pictures or gemstone specimens that you feel would help inform soldiers to make quality decisions when shopping while deployed, please let me know and share it with us.
Also, if anyone would like to donate to help purchase and produce the USB drives to send to soldiers, you can make a tax-deductible donation through the IIJA website until December 30. While the DVDs cost less than a dollar, the USB drives loaded and mailed will cost around $10 per. So any assistance will be appreciated, however, we will go this alone if needed since the need is great.
This continues to be a free service to support our soldiers and everyone over there keeping us safe over here. There is never a charge to any soldier or DOD staff for this service.
It is what we can do to support our troops, and it is from the full community of the International School of Gemology.
Please contact me to share any information, images or donations. Contact the ISG.